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Bakkie fans rejoice, Hilux is here

24.02.2016

I attend many vehicle launches as part of my job, but some are just larger than life, much like the launch of the new Toyota Hilux.

You see, the eighth generation of this iconic bakkie is now available locally and is certainly one of the most seminal vehicles to be launched in the past few years. I got to grips, quite literally, with the new range in Johannesburg recently.

About that styling

The styling is perhaps the most contentious issue with the new Hilux. I’m not sure that I like its new front end; sure, it has quite a masculine grille and the desirable wraparound headlamps but for me, the vehicle doesn’t have the same rugged appeal as before; having said that, the side profile and rear end are extra conservative and more to our markets’ taste.

Interior bakkie-ness

The interior of the modern bakkie has evolved from a utilitarian space to a luxurious driving environment in many models available locally. The Hilux has adopted a similar approach, with an SUV-like interior complete with a "floating" infotainment screen, modern instruments and switchgear, more upmarket materials and a more ergonomically pleasing layout for the driver and passengers.

What’s it like to drive?

Compared to the previous generation the new model is light years ahead in terms of refinement, especially with the diesel variants. There is a far superior ride quality, a much improved manual gearbox, less road and wind noise and an overall impression that smacks of a more usable bakkie.

Can it cope off-road?

The new model is a capable vehicle off-road; we had an opportunity to test its 4x4 systems at the Kyalami off-road track where we made use of the vehicle’s hill-start assist system, its down-hill assist control system, the traction control system in combination with the four-wheel-drive system, which features both front and rear Limited Slip Differentials. A nice addition is the inclusion of a rotary dial, which allows one to switch between two-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive high and four-wheel-drive low versus the older gear-lever-operated system.

 

We are at the long awaited Toyota Hilux launch. Sean Nurse is putting this SA favorite through its paces.

Posted by Autodealer.co.za on Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Engine options

In terms of the local engine range, we’ll be receiving two diesel and three petrol variants. Both oil burners are new; the 2.4-litre turbo diesel motor does work in the utility models having 110kW/343Nm and is available in a stronger 110kW/400Nm output in the more expensive models. The smaller diesel model is claimed to use just 7.3 litres/100km on a combined cycle.

The big news is in the lifestyle section of the range where the old 3.0 litre turbodiesel has been replaced by a 2.8-litre turbo diesel, which now has 130kW/420Nm for the six-speed manual and 130kW/450Nm in the automatic model. Toyota claims a consumption figure of 8.5 litres/100km however at launch we achieved just over 10.0 litres/100km but these conditions were perhaps not as conducive to ideal consumption.

There are three petrol motors on offer: A 2.0-litre 100kW/182 Nm entry-level model, a revised 2.7-litre VVT-i engine with 122kW/245Nm and the familiar 4.0-litre V6 with 175kW376 Nm. The range has a towing capacity that goes from 2.8 to 3.5 tonnes, depending on which model is selected.

New gearboxes

All the workhorse Hilux models get a five-speed manual transmission, while the rest of the range comes with the option of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The new six-speed manual gearbox is available with a feature which makes it the "intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT)," which incorporates rev-matching technology on both up and downshifts for a more smooth driving experience.

The six-speed automatic transmission uses what Toyota calls "High-speed Gear Effective Utilisation Control," which basically means that the vehicle determines the optimal gear depending on conditions to provide a balance of power and economy.

Verdict

Toyota has nailed the new generation Hilux. It’s more comfortable, more drivable and more efficient and, as we can see below, competitively priced. Subjective aspects such as the looks are for you to decide however, I have a feeling these are going to fly from the showrooms. Look out for a more in-depth review of the new Hilux in the coming month when we conduct a road test on the new model.

Warranty and service

All models come with a five-year/90 000km service plan as well as a three-year/100 000km warranty.

Pricing:

PETROL SINGLE CAB

Hilux SC 2.0 VVTi  5MT  R228 900
Hilux SC 2.0 VVTi   5MT A/C R236 400
Hilux SC 2.7 VVTi  RB SRX  R309 900

DIESEL SINGLE CAB

Hilux SC 2.4 GD 5MT  R259 900
Hilux SC 2.4 GD 5MT A/C R267 400
Hilux SC 2.4 GD-6 RB SRX R319 900
Hilux SC 2.4 GD-6 4x4 SRX  R379 900
Hilux SC 2.8 GD-6 RB Raider  R377 900
Hilux SC 2.4 GD-6 4x4 SR  R382 900
Hilux SC 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Raider R435 900

PETROL DOUBLE CAB

Hilux DC 2.7 VVTi RB SRX R377 900
Hilux DC 4.0V6 RB Raider AT R503 900
Hilux DC  4.0V6  4x4Raider AT R593 900

DIESEL DOUBLE CAB

Hilux DC 2.4 GD-6 4x4 SRX R439 900
Hilux DC 2.4 GD-6 RB SRX R414 900
Hilux DC 2.4 GD-6 4x4 SR R441 900
Hilux DC 2.8 GD-6 RB Raider R468 900
Hilux DC 2.8 GD-6 RB Raider AT R485 900
Hilux DC 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Raider R529 900
Hilux DC 2.8 GD-6 4x4Raider AT R547 900

XTRA CAB

Hilux XC 2.4 GD-6 RB SRX R333 900
Hilux XC 2.8 GD-6 RB Raider R410 900
Hilux XC 2.8 GD-6  4x4 Raider R470 900

 

Article written by Sean Nurse
24.02.2016
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